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Thread use for specific types of fly?

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Here's a helpful video explaining the differences between 3 of the larger thread manufacturers. I prefer UtC 70/140 and I also like veevus . After spending sometime at the vise you'll discover what works best for you and your style.



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Fly tying threads are an interesting subject.

You will notice that the posters above have specified specific brand names and within that brand, a certain subtype. For example Poopdeck mentions Wapsi UTC Thread in 70 and 140 Denier and Unithread in 6/0 and 8/0. Other's mention Danville 6/0 and Veevus.

I prefer to look at threads in terms of what the material is made of and how the thread is constructed.

The two most common materials are nylon and polyester. These two materials have different properties.

Nylon stretches and so it is an easier material for beginners to use for tying smaller trout flies. The reason is that nylon will give the fly tier a warning BEFORE it breaks because it stretches before it breaks. Nylon also is easier to dye in brighter colors so if you need a fly color that "pops" like a fluorescent color, you probably will find that is a brand that is nylon. Danville Flymaster and Wapsi UTC threads are nylon and that is why they are so popular with fly tyers, especially beginners. Beginners will break thread less often with a nylon thread because it gives them a warning and they wrap tighter bodies because the thread contracts once it is tied off.

If nylon is so great why would anyone use polyester. The reason is that a none stretching thread ultimately gives the tyer more control and because nylon wraps will loosen over time BECAUSE the tread stretches. The nylon thread wraps are under tension and over time that tension loosens the wraps. Polyester thread wraps are also under tension and because the thread does not stretch the wraps will stay tight. Unithread and Veevus are polyester threads.

GSP is another common material but it is usually reserved for tying deer hair bugs or other flies that require a great deal of strength and a material that does not stretch. It also dulls scissors faster.

Another consideration is whether the thread is bonded or not and whether the thread can be spit for split thread dubbing. Easy to split threads have very little twist in the tread. Both Veevus and Wapsi UTC are easily split. Danville can also be spilt but it is a twisted thread. Unithread is bonded and is difficult to use for split thread dubbing.


If you don’t use split thread dubbing rather than the more traditional dubbing loop, it does not matter whether the tread can be split or not.

Whether the thread is twisted or not changes the nature of the thread. Twisting the thread closes up the empty spaces and makes the thread thinner. Untwisted thread lies flatter on the fly when wound on the hook, produces less bulk because there are no empty air spaces as there are when twisted thread loops are stacked up.

A versatile thread would be a thread that can can be untwisted or twisted as one needs and if you watch a fly tying demo closely, you will see tyers spin the bobbin to twist or to flatten (untwist) the tread. In fact each wrap of the thread around the hook creates a twist in the thread.

So what threads do I use - I use Danvile, UTC, Uni and more recently Veevus. I choose for colors and then for the material since I like the color to match my dubbing.

The best and most complete table of tying threads is here. One or both of the links below should work:




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Thanks, guys. I have seemed to drift over to Uni since I took a saltwater tying class. I am going to try some more mono. Have used it for Charlies.

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